Passing the Plate Poll Results

March 24, 2009 by

2009_03_24_passingplatepollresults.jpgTreasurers love it, and visitors dread it. There are tons of problems with passing the plate: what the heck do you do to fill that time from the stage? What if people feel unnecessary pressure? Who gets to pass the plate? How do we protect that money sitting in the plate free for the stealing?! But there’s also one huge problem with not taking an offering: what if we can’t afford to keep the lights on?

So, like we love to do, we turned it over to you and asked if your church passes the plate.

A whopping 61% of you are still passing plates! Looks like this is the clear winner in terms of quantity, but is it the winner in terms of quality? I’m a skeptic here.

There are 32% of you who pass the something or another. I’ve seen plastic buckets, paint cans and felt baggies, but nothing else readily comes to mind. The comments are a great place to answer the question, “What are you passing around during church?”

Lastly, 6% of you have abandoned the “giving time” approach altogether. Your giving is done online, by mailing it in, going to a kiosk or dropping it in on your way out. Have you seen a huge drop in giving doing this? Have people given you a good response?

There’s no right answer to this question, but you should dare to ask the question: For 94% of us, is a Sunday morning giving time really the best option? And how are we defining the “best option”? In my opinion, I wouldn’t define best as the most short-term week-over-week giving. Best is what will get you the most returning visitors, best long-term givers and more sacrificial, joyful givers. I’m sure for your church, best is something very specific as well.

This week, we’ve got a simple one for you. What do you do for your church?

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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10 Responses to “Passing the Plate Poll Results”

  • Paul
    March 25, 2009

    We have communion available each week on a table or two located on the wall of the worship area. On these tables, are not only the emblems of the Lord’s Supper, but also an offering basket for collection of the offering. It works well for us at this time, meeting in a local elementary school.


  • Brian
    March 25, 2009

    We stopped passing the plate years ago. We have two boxes at the back of the sanctuary. We tell our guests that we don’t pass the plate – those who call this their church home give using the boxes, and we didn’t invite them for their money.
    Our giving has usually been up every year since we did that. We’re a smaller church (about 60 on a Sunday), so a drop in giving is huge for us.


  • Leanne Shawler
    March 25, 2009

    I chose “pass the plate” although we actually pass nice little woven baskets. But I think, be it basket, bucket or felt bag, it’s still passing the plate.
    If there were alternatives that would be easy for an older generation to do, I’d love to hear them.


  • anthony thompson
    March 25, 2009

    I think we always have this fear of, will people remember to give? if they forget to give, how does the maintenance of the church and employees earn a paycheck? I would love to believe people will remember to give… but they barely remember to arrive on time…
    http://iHateChurch.Wordpress.com
    http://Twitter.com/iHateChurch


  • JR
    March 26, 2009

    Personally, I prefer the offering method of churches in Africa, also seen in some ethnic churches in America. The congregation forms a line around outside aisle of the benches/chairs/pews and they dance, sing and wave their offering in the air as they file past the offering container at the front of the church to drop in the money they hold in stewardship for God. How I wish the strait-laced WASP churches would be so exuberant about giving back to the LORD a portion of what he has blessed them with! Why do American churches feel embarrassed about collecting the Lord’s money – even putting boxes in an out-of-the-way place so people give secretly? Think about what visitors would take away from these two styles of giving. One teaches that we hold our money in an open hand and give joyously to needs, the other says giving is shameful – something to be hidden. It goes against the message of Matt. 5:14-16 – we are to demonstrate our good deeds openly so that other men will see them and glorify God.


  • Brian Klassen
    March 26, 2009

    It struck me after reading the article and comments that we must not consider the act of giving a portion of what God has blessed us with a form of worship – and it is. We have no trouble singing, praying and holding our hands high, but when it comes to giving back to God what is His, it’s difficult at best and doesn’t even come close to a worshipful experience. I agree with Anthony. This should be a celebrated experience right alongside with singing, baptism, and communion. Don’t miss out – give to God what is His and He will bless your socks off.


  • Joie
    March 27, 2009

    Tithing is like the one tree in the garden—it is an act of worship and honor to God—who owns it all anyway. I don’t care how it is collected—I want to give my tithe because I want to honor God. I love Him. I am grateful for all He is and does for me. I want to bring Him joy and smiles and yes, make Him proud that I am His. The tithe is His because He is honorable. The offering (different from the tithe) is a pleasure for me because my heart is connected to His. He loves to give gifts to His children and surprise those who are not with goodness. I want to be part of that with Him.
    The offering is often my favorite part of church service because it enables me to give back to God. I think of it as my time to bless Him. It is definitely a time of worship for me.


  • timmydou
    March 28, 2009

    We do an offering every week, mostly by passing offering plates. Sometimes we take it as people exit via plates, boxes, mailboxes at the back. One thing we always do no matter what is to invite our members and regular attenders to participate in giving back to the Lord. We have a very high rate of participation compared to the average church in our denomination.


  • timmydou
    March 28, 2009

    We do an offering every week, mostly by passing offering plates. Sometimes we take it as people exit via plates, boxes, mailboxes at the back. One thing we always do no matter what is to invite our members and regular attenders to participate in giving back to the Lord. We have a very high rate of participation compared to the average church in our denomination.


  • Karolyn
    March 31, 2009

    We have the plates in the front of the church. We do our announcements first, then prayer concerns. As part of the prayer, Pastor blesses the offering and the congregation, then worship begins. As an act of worship, people bring their tithes and offering anytime during worship. Worship flows into the time when Pastor speaks the Word for the morning. We are small right now but I don’t think it will change as we grow.



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